Today marked my eighth day on my study abroad trip. This morning we had breakfast at our hotel, Chez Gorret, said goodbye to Nadia and our other hosts at the hotel, and then hit the road to begin our journey to Switzerland. We descended the mountain, and eventually stopped in Aosta, Italia to eat lunch and to explore. We did some shopping, and then walked down the main street until we found a place to eat lunch.
After lunch, we walked around the town some more, and then got some gelato to eat while we walked down the street. We actually came back to the gelato place a while later and split some cannoli as well.
We got back on the bus and continued our journey in the car. After driving for a few hours, we finally made it to the St. Bernard pass at the Swiss border. The landscape changed dramatically, with many more grassy hillsides. It was interesting to see the differences between the different mountain ranges.
About an hour after crossing the border, we started our ascent to Champex, Switzerland. Champex is a quaint mountain town situated high in the Alps around a crystal blue lake. It is a beautiful landscape, but unfortunately is very far away from anything. We settled into our hostel, Gite Bon Abri, (which was bunk-style), met for class, and then ate dinner at the hostel restaurant. The owner cooked us fondue, salad, bread, and soup. In Switzerland, it is customary to coat your plate with fresh-cracked black pepper and then dip your cheese-covered food in the pepper and a brown savory sauce. We did this with boiled potatoes and bread.
This evening, we worked on some group assignments and relaxed around the hotel. Tomorrow morning, we are heading to an alpine botanical garden, and then traveling to Lausanne, Switzerland for our final two nights in Europe.